If you have a great online voice this can put you ahead of the competition. Adversely, if you have the wrong kind of social presence, this can negatively affect your chances of gaining employment or a promotion.
If you’re looking for a job, or currently working in a professional environment, it is important that you are aware of what your online presence can say about you. Social media dominates the online space with its content, ease of use and ability to connect people across the globe. This makes it a great platform for employers to use, allowing them to get an insight into both their current and potential employees.
If there’s a time to google search yourself, this is it.
Whether you are applying for a job, looking for a promotion, or just want to know what your social presence looks like; the best way to do that is to do an online search and see what you find. Have a look at what photos appear, which will normally be profile pictures from your various accounts, you never know, you might even stumble upon your old Myspace photo!
It’s important to remember, if you see it, so can others who search you. In fact, ‘93% of hiring managers will review a candidate’s social profile before making a hiring decision’ according to the Jobvite 2014 Social Recruiting Survey. If you don’t like what you see online, chances are, neither will potential employers.
Blogs and professional websites, such as LinkedIn, are where employers will look for you to showcase your abilities, these are the sites you really want to focus on, making sure to give a great impression.
Have a Presence
Whether this be a blog or a personal website, it’s a good idea to have some kind of presence online other than social media. More than two in five employers (41%) say they are less likely to interview job candidates if they are unable to find information about that person online., according to Jobvite’s survey.
This type of initiative is also excellent for jobs that require some type of digital knowledge, design or creativity, as it showcases your technical skills and is uniquely your own. If you can’t be found on Google, it might indicate to recruiters that you haven’t caught up with the latest trends or lack the minimal skills needed for the job.
For many design and tech orientated roles, it can be very beneficial to have an online portfolio, as opposed to a physical portfolio, or no portfolio at all. You want to be able to show potential employers your best work that you are proud of, whether that be schoolwork, a uni assignment, work for a previous client or a project you did in your spare time. There are many websites that allow you to easily create an online portfolio for free, such as, Weebly, Wix and WordPress.
Make sure to highlight your qualifications for any position with your education, career objectives, a current position that you hold, your skills and past employment.
Also include a section for people to contact you, with your name, email address, and maybe also links to your professional social media accounts, such as LinkedIn. The next time someone asks you for a sample of your work, you’ll have a unique online portfolio that will make you stand out and be remembered.
Keep up to Date
This may seem obvious, but we often forget to update our personal information across all social media platforms and websites. If you’ve recently changed jobs or completed a course online, it’s important for your online profiles to reflect this and for that information to be the same across the board.
Imagine how confusing it would be for a potential employer to see that you are studying full time and working at a café on Facebook, but on LinkedIn your working full time as an Account Manger! This is important for your contact details as well, make sure that you provide the same email address on all sites unless you prefer to have separate email accounts for personal and professional communication.
Clean Your Screen
If you’re looking for professional employment, then it’s time to spring clean your screen! We are talking about screening everything online and removing anything that you wouldn’t want a potential employer to see. This includes any photos, videos or comments around any behaviours deemed inappropriate, such as alcohol or drug use.
The Annual Social Recruiting Survey revealed that ‘more than a quarter of employers have found content online that has caused them to reprimand or fire an employee.’ This is quite alarming, as it’s not just people looking for a job, but also those currently employed that need to be careful about what they post online.
If you have any negative comments or complaints about your previous job or employers, they also need to go. Although you may have some valid opinions you were once happy to share, an employer is going to be less than impressed to see you talking negatively about your previous positions.
Keep your private life, private.
If you want to be able to post whatever you want on social media, opt for the highest privacy settings on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. Spend some time on each platform, learning about the privacy settings and tailor these settings to your personal preferences.
Got an offer? Great, but don’t announce it to the world of Facebook until you check with your future employer. Experts have revealed that employees have been fired after posting content online regarding their employment without the permission of the new boss.
The funny thing about social media is that it requires you to be social! When managing your online presence, you should also take the time to interact with different groups and professionals that are in the field of your interest. Read articles, comment on posts, like pages and follow accounts as these actions will give you a stronger social presence and demonstrate your interests in these topics.
It’s also a great way for you to stay up to date on all of the company’s news, which is particularly useful if you have an interview coming up, as you’ll have some topics to talk about with your hiring manager. Many businesses and organisations use social media as a means of interacting with their consumers or other companies, so this is a great opportunity to take advantage of, by being active and liking their updates, or starting a conversation online.
Another great way to network online is by joining LinkedIn groups in your field of interests as professionals will often post updates and job opportunities to the group, so you’ll have more exclusive, inside knowledge.